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3 Free Agents-To-Be With Something to Prove in 2020

ehire adrianza trevor may jake odorizzi taylor rogers rocco baldelli
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#1 Cody Christie

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 08:30 PM

Impending free agents can have a lot to prove in their final year under contract. Can they outperform their career numbers and hit a big payday? Or do they succumb to the pressure and underperform in one of their most important professional seasons? For three Twins players, there might be even more to prove before becoming free agents for the first time.Ehire Adrianza
Adrianza has been part of three different organization and gotten claimed off waivers multiple times, but he has never been a free agent. He provides an interesting case, because he has mostly served a role player during his Twins tenure. In three seasons in Minnesota he has hit .260/.321/.391 (.711) while averaging 89 games played.

His 2018 season might give the best glimpse of how he could produce if he was an everyday player. Adrianza was given the opportunity to man shortstop while Jorge Polanco started the year suspended. He played in 114 games that season and compiled a .680 OPS and this included playing over 750 innings at shortstop and third base.

He could possibly serve as an everyday player on a club, but he would need an opportunity to prove himself this season. It would take an injury to Polanco for Adrianza to play every day and the Twins certainly don’t want that to happen.

Trevor May
May’s transition from starter to reliever came with some growing pains, but he has turned into one of the team’s best late-inning options. Something clicked for him when he came back from Tommy John surgery back in 2018. Since that time, he has held opponents to a .195 average with a terrific 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Outside of Taylor Rogers, May might be Minnesota’s best relief option and that’s saying a lot with the current make-up of the bullpen. He should see plenty of time late in games this year and it will be interesting to see if Rocco Baldelli continues to use him in a similar fashion. He was only used for more than an inning in 10 of his appearances last season. Could that change in 2020?

If May continues to pitch like he has over the last two seasons, there’s a chance a team would want to add him as a potential closer, even if the closer role continues to evolve. That could lead to an even bigger payday for the 30-year old free agent-to-be.

Jake Odorizzi
Odorizzi bet on himself this season by accepting the Twins' one-year qualifying offer. Granted the $17.8 million one-year deal is more money than he has made in his entire career, but now he knows he will be a free agent next winter. He might have been kicking himself for accepting the offer after seeing the contracts being handed out to other starters on the open market.

He made his first All-Star team this past season on the heels of a first half where he posted a 3.15 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP. Opponents hit only .214/.285/.335 (.620) against him and he had 96 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings pitched. The second half didn’t go nearly as well as batters' OPS rose 111 points. He finished the year by starting Game 3 of the ALDS by allowed two earned runs on five hits over five innings.

In an offensive environment like 2019, Odorizzi’s first half is certainly impressive. If he can put together a full season like he did last year then he will be looking at a handsome free agent contract next winter and this time it will be a multi-year deal.

Which player has the most to prove this season? Who will score big next off-season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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#2 DocBauer

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 10:16 PM

All three are quality, valuable players in their own right. Just a few comments/opinions:

1] Adrianza: Unless a losing/non-contending comes along with a fairly substantial offer as they feel he can help them advance forward...as good as he is...he's not going to move a needle and is probably better off re-signing with the Twins.

2] May is good. Time to accept that. I am not saying the Twins should break the bank for a RP...we all know how volitle that market can be...but they need him and should extend him IMO. The budget should allow for it.

3] Odorizzi: I really like Oddo and think some undervalue him. He's not a #1 and never going to be, but he is very, very good for 5+ innings. No matter how much I like him, and want him to stay, he is not Wheeler with a 95MPH FB that teams hoped would help him take another step up and reach another level. Maybe I'm just lost, but there is no way he would have received $23-25M offers the way Wheeler did. $20M maybe?? But if so, that's only a couple $M than he's signed for this season. Arguements that he made a mistake or his agent is inept are just ridiculous. His salary is very fair and in line with market value the past couple of years, including this one. If not, he's only slightly below.

I think all three can be re-signed/extended without any harm to the overall payroll.
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#3 howieramone2

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 12:43 AM

Both Adrianza and May can be replaced internally for the minimum. Odorizzi is the wild card. If he duplicates last season, I would try to extend.
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#4 TwinsFan268

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 05:43 AM

Adrianza was really just backup in 2019 so we don't really need to keep him. Yes, he did contribute 13 homers and a good defensive arm in the infield, but he's not an everyday player and they don't NEED him. Same goes for May. There are tons of good bullpen arms in Minnesota and he can be replaced internally.

 

Odorizzi is a different story. He's a great pitcher and he actually did better than anyone else in the playoffs last year. They really should give him an extension, especially if he has a good year next year.

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#5 chinmusic

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 07:03 AM

 

Adrianza was really just backup in 2019 so we don't really need to keep him. Yes, he did contribute 13 homers and a good defensive arm in the infield, but he's not an everyday player and they don't NEED him.

 


#6 chinmusic

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 07:04 AM

Actually, Adrianza hit 5 home runs in 2019.


#7 halfchest

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 07:23 AM

 


3] Odorizzi: I really like Oddo and think some undervalue him. He's not a #1 and never going to be, but he is very, very good for 5+ innings. No matter how much I like him, and want him to stay, he is not Wheeler with a 95MPH FB that teams hoped would help him take another step up and reach another level. Maybe I'm just lost, but there is no way he would have received $23-25M offers the way Wheeler did. $20M maybe?? But if so, that's only a couple $M than he's signed for this season. Arguements that he made a mistake or his agent is inept are just ridiculous. His salary is very fair and in line with market value the past couple of years, including this one. If not, he's only slightly below.
ll.

 

It's not ridiculous at all to say he would be better off with a 3-5 year deal averaging 15-20 million than a 1 year 17.8 million deal. If he regresses or has a bad injury, he won't likely see anything near that.He could put up another year like 2019 and make more too. Just saying the logic isn't that he's being underpaid this year, but that he likely could have locked in long term security this offseason had he not signed with QO.  

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#8 rdehring

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 07:30 AM

My hope/belief is that all three should be signed to extensions no later than July.

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#9 howieramone2

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 08:52 AM

Tough decisions are ahead. It won't belong before they're more players I like than there is room for.
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#10 mikelink45

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 09:11 AM

This is a real change from the ST stories we have been reading and it fun as a change of pace, but of course it is way too early.They could all be injured and not make it out of ST.As the season moves on the real question for each is who replaces them?

 

If the Twins think that Balazovic or Thorpe can take Odorizzi's place they are less likely to pursue him, although I think Bailey would be the next one removed from the rotation. I hope Odo really shows improvement and fines a way to get to inning seven.

Ehire has a waiting list behind him - Lewis, Gordon, and Blankenhorn will push him or Gonzalez off the roster.

May has had a nice couple years - will he have another.I have such a hard time judging RP and we do seem to have Duran ready to push him and excess like Smeltzer who I think will be gone in a year, Stashak, Ober, Poppen, Sands, and Jax and Dobnak.If May shines and accepts the Twins offer we will be fine, if he hesitates or we get a good offer he is gone and so are some of the other alternatives that I listed..


#11 Brandon

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 09:22 AM

Getting league average offense out of a backup IF is a nice luxury. Gordon and Blankenship are heir apparent. If either shows enough to come up, White can go. Otherwise a 2 year 8 million contract give or take is in his future.
I can see May in the 3 year 18-21 million range. I think he is the pitcher we should sign the most. If Odorizzi regresses at all we seem to have lots of pitchers coming up real soon. I can see Odorizzi going somewhere else next year. The fact he likes it in Minnesota makes me think an extension is possible. But his current salary is up there and we are already at our payroll limits. I doubt payroll goes up any next year without a World Series run.

#12 Trov

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 09:41 AM

I hope the pitchers put up huge seasons that lead to need for big contracts, even if Twins do not sign, if they have huge seasons good for this one. 


#13 JoshDungan1

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 12:07 PM

Adrianza's selling point to the Twins is that he's by far their best defensive replacement on the bench in late-inning situations and the Twins don't really have anyone else that can play backup shortstop as capably as he can within at least a level of the Majors (especially if Gordon is a second-only player now). That alone could keep Adrianza around another season or two until players behind him finally start to come up to the bigs.

 

Also, giving up a relief option that has shown as much potential as May would be, IMO, dumb. Especially on a club that has struggled to not only find, but develop, late-inning relief options with the kind of stuff that May has shown. I'm not saying we sign him to a super long-term deal, but two or three years with a good amount of money per year would definitely be rewarding him.

 

Odo is a good guy and I've liked what he brings to the team, but our starting pitching depth is finally starting to rise through the minors and we might be able to replace him on the cheap with a better option. Of the three listed, surprisingly, I think I might be most okay (at least RN) with Odo being the one that leaves in FA.

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#14 IndianaTwin

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 12:51 PM

Give Odo a bonus!

 

As in, go back to him and say, "We'll bump you up to $22MM for this year if you give us two more years at $16.6MM each and a $1MM buyout on a $15MM contract for 2023."

 

That's like giving him 3/$56.2MM now, which is slightly better than three years at his $18.7MM QO. Plus, it's guaranteed and slightly front-loaded, which helps him from an investment perspective* and it's slightly beneficial to the FO for planning purposes as other guys move up the arbitration calculation, etc.

 

 

*Past performance is no guarantee of future results (particularly in this market) yadda, yadda, yadda...

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#15 Vanimal46

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 01:15 PM

Both Adrianza and May can be replaced internally for the minimum. Odorizzi is the wild card. If he duplicates last season, I would try to extend.


100% agreed. There are 2 players currently on the 40 who are being groomed to be the next Adrianza (Gordon and Blankenhorn) with more in the pipe. I like the progression we saw from May last year. It takes a special reliever for me to want to lock in long term after his initial service time is up. I don’t think May is that guy, and I’m confident the regime can identify another internal candidate to fill the void.

If Odorizzi replicates his 2019, that will be hard to replace. He might be the one we have to bite the bullet on and sign long term.

#16 jimbo92107

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 02:24 PM

As always, much depends on how the young guys develop in AA and AAA. If Nick Gordon finally has a healthy season, he's Adrianza's replacement. If one of the power arms in the minors finds better command, then that's a cheaper option than May. Likewise, the Twins have at least a few guys that might invade the starting ro with just a bit more refinement. But Odo will be hard to bump...

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#17 DocBauer

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Posted 10 March 2020 - 02:46 PM

It's not ridiculous at all to say he would be better off with a 3-5 year deal averaging 15-20 million than a 1 year 17.8 million deal. If he regresses or has a bad injury, he won't likely see anything near that. He could put up another year like 2019 and make more too. Just saying the logic isn't that he's being underpaid this year, but that he likely could have locked in long term security this offseason had he not signed with QO.


Agree 100%. There have been rumors ever since he signed the QO that both he and the Twins were interested in an extension. In fact, I'm a little surprised we haven't heard anything about one yet. Maybe the FO has just been too busy working on others right now???

When the other FA options were signed, there were a few that commented Oddo would regret signing as the market had ramped up versus what we saw the past couple of years. While a longer term deal is something Jake wants, and I'd like to see, my argument was simply that the yearly value was in line.
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